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We must ‘stop shooting ourselves in the foot’, says Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin looking for three points against Dundee (Steve Welsh/PA)
Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin looking for three points against Dundee (Steve Welsh/PA)

Jim Goodwin urged his Aberdeen players to stop making life difficult for themselves as they prepare to host cinch Premiership bottom side Dundee on Saturday.

The Dons missed out on a top-half finish and in the wake of their 2-1 home defeat to Livingston last weekend are in ninth place on 36 points, ahead of St Mirren on goal difference and 10 points clear of the Dark Blues

Goodwin’s side are without a win in their last three games, including a 2-2 draw against Dundee at Dens Park, and the Irishman wants to get back to winning ways in the four remaining fixtures.

He said: “Saturday is an extremely challenging game. Dundee are still fighting for their lives.

“I think they proved that last weekend against St Johnstone with a very good competitive performance (in a 1-1 draw).

“We have only played them a few weeks ago at Dens Park so we know exactly what to expect, but I believe in this crop of players, I believe that we’ve got enough within the squad to go and win the game on Saturday.

“But we have to do ourselves a favour and stop shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties and different bits and pieces.

“But it’s going to be a good game. It should be a good spectacle.”

Goodwin is pleased experienced referee Willie Collum will be in charge at Pittodrie as he remains irked by last week’s defeat at Pittodrie where he believes Livingston goalkeeper Max Stryjek escaped a red card for his clash with Vicente Besuijen just moments before Nicky Devlin put the visitors into the lead.

Referee Grant Irvine booked both Stryjek and Besuijen and Goodwin was not impressed.

The former St Mirren manager, who took over at Pittodrie in February, said: “I don’t like talking about luck because I’m a great believer that you got to make your own luck in life.

“But some of the decisions that have gone against us in the short period of time that I’ve been in is something that I probably haven’t experienced as much throughout my career.

“We’ve had goals chopped off that shouldn’t have been and we’ve had some real dodgy penalty decisions given against us and last weekend against Livingston, I don’t like talking about opposition players, but I think it’s clear for everybody to see that Stryjek should have been sent off.

“The referee had a fantastic angle and a fantastic view of this situation and decided to do very little.

“He is with a young, inexperienced referee so maybe the occasion was a little bit too much for him.

“But if Livingston had a gone down to 10 men at that particular moment in time, we’d have had a penalty kick and I would have expected Fergie (Lewis Ferguson) to dispatch that, like he does, and we would have had our noses in front and playing against a team with a man less.

“So those big moments in games haven’t gone in our favour since I’ve been in.

“We’re not playing the sob stories. That’s just a fact of the matter.

“I’m delighted that we’ve got an experienced referee this weekend in Willie Collum, one of the best in the league.

“If Willie had been referee in last Saturday, I am pretty confident that Livingston would have been down to 10 men and that big decision would have went in our favour.

“So hopefully those big decisions will be called properly at the weekend. And as I said, they’ll go our way.”